US20080283603A1 - Barcode scanner operator interface - Google Patents

Barcode scanner operator interface Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080283603A1
US20080283603A1 US11748000 US74800007A US2008283603A1 US 20080283603 A1 US20080283603 A1 US 20080283603A1 US 11748000 US11748000 US 11748000 US 74800007 A US74800007 A US 74800007A US 2008283603 A1 US2008283603 A1 US 2008283603A1
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US
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
scanner
scale
states
light
red
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11748000
Inventor
Peter Barron
Theodore Heske, III
Mary Ryan Jones
Jennie P. Johnson
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
NCR Corp
Original Assignee
NCR Corp
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06KRECOGNITION OF DATA; PRESENTATION OF DATA; RECORD CARRIERS; HANDLING RECORD CARRIERS
    • G06K7/00Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns
    • G06K7/10Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns by electromagnetic radiation, e.g. optical sensing; by corpuscular radiation
    • G06K7/14Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns by electromagnetic radiation, e.g. optical sensing; by corpuscular radiation using light without selection of wavelength, e.g. sensing reflected white light

Abstract

A barcode scanner operator interface capable of providing enhanced information. The interface includes a visual indicator including positions capable of being individually illuminated, and control circuitry for monitoring states of the barcode scanner and for illuminating the positions of the visual indicator to produce codes indicative of the states of the barcode scanner.

Description

    BACKGROUND
  • [0001]
    Barcode scanners typically include a simple interface including one or two light emitting diodes (LEDs) and a speaker for producing “beep” tones.
  • [0002]
    Scanner diagnostic are typically identified by a specific number code. Both visual and audio feedback representing that number code is used to indicate a specific scanner error. Use of double digit number codes result in many audio beeps or visual flashes to represent a given error which can lead to misinterpretation of the error and potentially cause a delay in correcting the error.
  • [0003]
    Current scanner displays limit the type of information and resolution of problem states for Scale Zero Indications. Users do not currently receive specific feedback regarding an off-zero scale state from the scanner when the scale is idle.
  • [0004]
    More recent innovations have incorporated the detection and deactivation of loss prevention tags into the scanner/scale. While these integrated tag deactivation devices are generally successful in detecting and deactivating electronic article surveillance (EAS) and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, the operator does not receive feedback about the states of these tags during checkout. Typically the only feedback that an operator receives is the EAS/RFID tag sensor alarm sounding as the customer leaves the store.
  • [0005]
    It would be desirable to provide a barcode scanner operator interface that provides more information to an operator about the scanner and any systems incorporated into the scanner.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0006]
    A barcode scanner operator interface is provided.
  • [0007]
    The interface includes a visual indicator including positions capable of being individually illuminated, and control circuitry for monitoring states of the barcode scanner and for illuminating the positions of the visual indicator to produce codes indicative of the states of the barcode scanner.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0008]
    FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an example barcode scanner.
  • [0009]
    FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an example barcode scanner.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0010]
    With reference to FIGS. 1-2, an example embodiment of optical scanner 10 includes optics engine 14, pattern mirrors 18 a and 18 b, and power and control circuitry 28. Optical scanner 10 includes a dual aperture scanner.
  • [0011]
    Optical scanner 10 may additionally include scale 36, electronic article surveillance system 38, image scanner 40, and radio frequency identification (RFID) reader 42.
  • [0012]
    Optics engine 14 includes lasers 12 a and 12 b, mirrored spinner 16, collectors 20 a and 20 b, detectors 22 a and 22 b, analog electronics 24, and motor 26.
  • [0013]
    Laser 12 a and 12 b produce laser beams. Each of lasers 12 a and 12 b include one ore more lasers. In the example embodiment, each of lasers 12 a and 12 b may include up to two lasers.
  • [0014]
    Mirrored spinner 16 directs the laser beams to pattern mirrors 18 a and 18 b to produce a scan pattern, and receives reflected light from item 30 from pattern mirrors 18. Motor 26 rotates mirrored spinner 16.
  • [0015]
    Collectors 20 a and 20 b collect the reflected light from mirrored spinner 16 and direct it towards detectors 22 a and 22 b.
  • [0016]
    Detectors 22 a and 22 b convert the reflected light into electrical signals. In the example embodiment, each of detectors 22 a and 22 b may include up to two detectors.
  • [0017]
    Analog electronics 24 provides drive circuitry for lasers 12 a and 12 b and motor 26, and amplifies and filters the electrical signals from detectors 22 a and 22 b.
  • [0018]
    Pattern mirrors 18 a direct the laser beams from laser 12 a towards bar code label 32 and direct the reflected light to mirrored spinner 16. Pattern mirrors 18 b direct the laser beams from laser 12 b towards bar code label 32 and direct the reflected light to mirrored spinner 16.
  • [0019]
    Power and control circuitry 28 controls operation of scanner 10 and additionally processes the processed electrical signals from analog electronics 24 to obtain information encoded in bar code label 32. Power and control circuitry 28 may include a combination of processor and memory. Power and control circuitry 28 may be connected to analog electronics 24 through one or more cables 33.
  • [0020]
    Power and control circuitry 28 includes state machine 29 for tracking scanner event signals, as well as event signals from scale 36, EAS system 38, image scanner 40, and RFID reader 42 and providing control signals to interface 44.
  • [0021]
    Power and control circuitry 28 also provides information to an operator of scanner 10 through interface 44. The information conveyed through interface 44 may include error states, operational states, and communications states of scanner 10. The information may be extended to include scale information, EAS system information, RFID reader information, multi-dimensional (2-D) reader information, loss prevention information, and other system information.
  • [0022]
    Interface 44 may include one or more sensory communication methods, such as sight, sound, and touch. As to sight, interface 44 includes a visual indicator 46 having a plurality of different positions capable of being illuminated. Collectively, the different illuminated positions form a code that conveys to an operator the state of scanner 10. Visual indicator 46 may include a light bar (FIG. 2) or a liquid crystal display.
  • [0023]
    With reference to FIG. 2, example scanner 10 is illustrated as a bi-optic scanner, having a horizontal aperture 60 and a vertical aperture 62. Visual indicator 46 is illustrated as a light bar having a row of lights 52 along a bezel 56 of scanner 10.
  • [0024]
    Switches 50 are also located on bezel 56. Lights 54 adjacent switches 50 provide feedback to an operator, indicating that a switch has been successfully activated. Lights 52 and 54 may each include one or more light emitting diodes (LEDs).
  • [0025]
    In an example embodiment, lights 52 may include a multi-color LEDs having elements for producing different colors. Each element may be individually turned on or off or controlled for intensity such that a rainbow of colors may be achieved. Alternatively, each of lights 52 may include a cluster of individual different colored LEDs.
  • [0026]
    Because the LEDs are individually controlled, light bar 46 may display both static and dynamic light patterns. Static light patterns are particularly well suited to displaying state information, whereas dynamic light patterns are particularly well suited for displaying dynamic events.
  • [0027]
    For example, static light patterns may be used to display the various states of scanner 10 and its systems. For scanner 10, these states include individual scanner error states (e.g., SCANNER_FATAL, SCANNER_NON_FATAL, SCALE_FATAL, SCALE_NON_FATAL), scanner operational states (e.g., IDLE, SLEEP, FLASH, MANUFACTURING_TEST), and scanner communications states (e.g., DISABLE, DISABLE_w/o_INDICATION).
  • [0028]
    As another example, dynamic light patterns may be used to indicate events in any of the systems (e.g., GOOD_READ, EAS_DEACTIVATION, RFID_GOOD_READ, SECOND_ITEM_SCAN). Dynamic light patterns have the advantage of being eye-catching. Timing and intensity characteristics of dynamic light patterns may be tailored so as to enhance human perception of system events.
  • [0029]
    State machine 29 controls dynamic light patterns. Processing and control circuitry 28 starts state machine 29 in response to predetermined scanner event signals, as well as event signals from scale 36, EAS system 38, image scanner 40, and RFID reader 42. State machine 29 runs autonomously until the light pattern self terminates. Afterwards, processing and control circuitry 28 causes lights 52 to display a light pattern associated with a current state.
  • [0030]
    In order to address the needs of those who may have color blindness issues, error reporting may be multifunctional. For example, lights 52 may indicate errors simultaneously in two different ways. First, lights 52 may display a unique color pattern associated with an error. Second, lights 52 may blink according to a unique blink pattern associated with the error. A color blind person may count the number of times the light pattern blinks, along with the number of lights 52 that are lit. This information then allows the color blind person to correctly identify the specific error without regard to the actual color of lights 52.
  • [0031]
    Lights 52 may be arranged in a linear fashion so as to be read from left-to-right or right-to-left. Example states of scanner 10, scale 36, and EAS system 38 are illustrated in Tables I-III. Example error condition light patterns for scanner and scale errors are illustrated in Tables IV-VII. The first light position identifies the type of error and the remaining light positions identify specific error codes. Similar methods may be used to represent all error, operational, and communication states of scanner 10 and its systems.
  • [0000]
    TABLE I
    LED Active Speech When
    State color Level Activity LEDs Tone activate
    a - Scanner operation states
    Idle (i.e. Green Dim solid 3
    Enabled) center
    Enabled & Green Dim solid 1
    Asleep center
    Mode LED
    Good Green Bright solid 5 LEDs Dynamic
    Scan Lightbar
    Pattern
    Disabled Red Bright solid 5 LEDs Test with a
    & Awake Not on File
    to see if
    this is
    appropriate
    Disabled Red Dim solid 1
    and Center
    Asleep LED
    b - Scanner window states
    Dirty Orange Off, flashing 1 LED
    window bright
    Clean OFF
    window
    c - Scanner volume states
    Volume Orange bright solid 1 LED volume
    adjust increments
    with each
    touch, dim
    and solid
    Tone Orange bright solid 1 LED tone
    adjust increments
    while
    holding
    button
    down
    Idle OFF
    d - Scanner manual deactivation state
    Manual Orange dim solid 1 LED click;
    deactivate bright
    and solid
  • [0000]
    TABLE IV
    LED Active Speech, When
    State color Level Activity LEDs Tone activate
    Scale states
    At zero Orange Dim solid 1
    (stable) button
    Unstable OFF
    w/weight
    Stable w/ Orange Bright solid 1
    weight button
    Underzero Orange Off flashing 1 click;
    weight bright button dim and
    (stable) solid
    EAS system states
    EAS Orange bright flash 5 LEDs Different Dynamic
    deactivate tones than Lightbar
    for Pattern
    scanning.
    Freq (Hz):
    601, 667,
    741, 824,
    914, 1016,
    1129,
    1245 Tone
    length
    (ms):
    15–225
    ms at
    15 ms
    intervals
    ScanMax- Orange dim solid 1 “EAS If box
    Pro box - button Online” comes
    Online (once) back
    online
    after
    being
    offline
    (below),
    speak
    once
    ScanMax- Orange dim flash 1 “EAS at
    Pro box - (double button Offline” - scanner
    Online to flash, once enable,
    Offline pause, when last
    double disable
    flash) is > “X”
    minutes
    ago.
    ScanMax- “EAS at
    Pro box - Offline” scanner
    Offline enable,
    when last
    disable
    is > “X”
    minutes
    ago.
    Scanner errors
    Blinks Problem Suspect Component
    0 No LED Power Supply/PCB
    Assembly
    2 RAM test failed PCB Assembly
    5 Motor too Slow Motor
    6 Bad non-volatile memory (EEPROM) PCB Assembly
    7 Slave Processor Failure PCB Assembly
    9 IBM mode IBM mode
    11  Laser not turned on PCB Assembly
    12  Program (ROM sum-check) Test failed PCB Assembly
    13  FPGA Failed To Program PCB Assembly
  • [0000]
    TABLE V
    Light patterns for scanner errors
    Blinks LED 1 LED 2 LED 3 LED 4 LED 5
    0 RED ORANGE
    1 RED ORANGE ORANGE
    2 RED ORANGE ORANGE ORANGE
    3 RED ORANGE ORANGE ORANGE ORANGE
    4 RED BLUE GREEN GREEN
    5 RED BLUE BLUE
    6 RED BLUE BLUE BLUE
    7 RED BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE
    8 RED GREEN GREEN GREEN
    9 RED GREEN GREEN
    10 RED GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN
    11 RED GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN
    12 RED RED
    13 RED RED RED
    14 RED RED RED RED
    15 RED RED RED RED RED
  • [0000]
    TABLE VI
    Scale errors (continued)
    Blinks Problem Suspect Component or Corrective Action
    Scale Scale Top 1. Press Scale zero button.
    Display is Plate or 2. Remove interference around edge of scale top
    Blank Produce Guard plate or Scale product guard and scanner front
    has possible bezel.
    obstruction. 3. Remove any foreign objects from under the
    scale top plate.
    1, 2, or 3 Possible out Calibration error. If error code persists,
    of range check:
    calibration 1. Scale cables and power supply.
    error. 2. Digital board.
    3. Load Cell.
    4 Scale Check for objects interfering with scale
    Hardware calibration switch button. Then recalibrate.
    Error If error code persists, check:
    1. Calibration switch or wiring
    2. Scale cables
    3. Digital board.
    Press Scale Zero button and retry. If error
    persists, verify if unit is a scanner/scale
    unit. If scanner-only unit, reprogram unit
    (PM + 3 + 0 + 4 + S&R). If it is a scanner/scale unit and
    the error continues, check:
    1. Scale cables and power supply
    2. Digital board.
    3. Load cell.
    5 Scale Drift. Ensure that nothing is on the scale. Lift the
    Scale Top Plate and ensure that no objects are
    under it. Press Scale Zero button. If error
    code persists, check:
    1. Scale cables and power supply
    2. Digital board.
    3. Load cell.
    6 Failure to Power cycle the unit and recalibrate the scale.
    update If error code persists, check the digital board.
    parameters
    into the
    EEPROM.
    7 Error Reading Calibrate the scale. If error code persists,
    parameters check the digital board.
    from EEPROM.
    8 Scale was not Press on the scale during calibration procedure,
    properly keep pressing on the scale until all Red LEDs
    exercised turn to BLUE. Repeat procedure.
    9 Linearity Remove interference around the edge of scale top
    problem or plate and checkstand or scale produce guard and
    Slight scanner front bezel.
    vibration Then calibrate the scale. If error code
    noted while persists:
    scale is 1. Scale cables and power supply
    being 2. Digital board
    calibrated 3. Load cell
    (zero drift). Weigh plate is touching checkstand, or scale was
    bumped or jarred, recalibrate.
  • [0000]
    TABLE VII
    Light patterns for scale errors
    Blinks LED 1 LED 2 LED 3 LED 4 LED 5
    0 BLUE ORANGE
    1 BLUE ORANGE ORANGE
    2 BLUE ORANGE ORANGE ORANGE
    3 BLUE ORANGE ORANGE ORANGE ORANGE
    4 BLUE RED
    5 BLUE RED RED
    6 BLUE RED RED RED
    7 BLUE RED RED RED RED
    8 BLUE GREEN GREEN GREEN
    9 BLUE GREEN GREEN
    10 BLUE GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN
    11 BLUE GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN
    12 BLUE BLUE
    13 BLUE BLUE BLUE
    14 BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE
    15 BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE
  • [0032]
    Just as lights 52 may be used to indicate static and dynamic light patterns, to indicate scanner/scale states and events respectively, speaker 48 may be used in an analogous fashion.
  • [0033]
    For example, processing and control circuitry 28 may play unique sound files, such as WAV files, that are associated with different events.
  • [0034]
    Switches 50 may include non-contact proximity sensing switches, without moving parts. Switches include a scale zeroing switch 70, a volume control switch 72, and a customizable switch 74. Also illustrated is a window glass needs cleaning icon and an indicator light 54.
  • [0035]
    Lights 54 provide operator feedback to indicate touch information. When switches 50 are not being activated by an operator, lights 54 are in a dim state. When power and control circuitry 28 senses operator activation, power and control circuitry 28 increases the intensity of lights 54 to a bright state. Light intensity modulation replaces a tactile sensation one would otherwise receive with a push action switch.
  • [0036]
    An additional capability has been added to light 54 adjacent to scale-zeroing switch 70. When scale 36 is stable at a zero weight, light 54 provides operator feedback about the state of switch 70. However, when scale weight is unstable, light 54 is in an off state. When scale weight is stable and above zero, light 54 is in a dim state. When scale weight is stable and less than zero, light 54 is in a blinking state.
  • [0037]
    Switch 74 is customizable. For example, switch 74 may be used for manual activation of EAS system 38. Other capabilities are achievable as the retailer's needs dictate.
  • [0038]
    Although particular reference has been made to certain embodiments, variations and modifications are also envisioned within the spirit and scope of the following claims.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A barcode scanner comprising:
    a visual indicator including positions capable of being individually illuminated; and
    control circuitry for monitoring states of the barcode scanner and for illuminating the positions of the visual indicator to produce codes indicative of the states of the barcode scanner.
  2. 2. The barcode scanner of claim 1, wherein the visual indicator comprises a liquid crystal display.
  3. 3. The barcode scanner of claim 1, wherein the visual indicator comprises a plurality of lights.
  4. 4. The scanner of claim 3, wherein the plurality of lights are arranged in a row.
  5. 5. The scanner of claim 3, wherein the plurality of lights are of multiple colors.
  6. 6. The scanner of claim 1, wherein the states include static and dynamic states.
  7. 7. The scanner of claim 6, wherein the states include error states, operational states, and communications states.
  8. 8. The scanner of claim 1, further comprising:
    a scale;
    wherein the control circuitry is additionally for monitoring states of the scale and for illuminating the positions of the visual indicator to produce other codes indicative of the states of the scale.
  9. 9. The scanner of claim 1, further comprising:
    an electronic article surveillance system;
    wherein the control circuitry is additionally for monitoring states of the electronic article surveillance system and for illuminating the positions of the visual indicator to produce other codes indicative of the states of the electronic article surveillance system.
  10. 10. The scanner of claim 1, further comprising:
    a radio frequency identification reader;
    wherein the control circuitry is additionally for monitoring states of the radio frequency identification reader and for illuminating the positions of the visual indicator to produce other codes indicative of the states of the radio frequency identification reader.
  11. 11. The scanner of claim 1, further comprising:
    an image scanner;
    wherein the control circuitry is additionally for monitoring states of the image scanner and for illuminating the positions of the visual indicator to produce other codes indicative of the states of the image scanner.
  12. 12. The scanner of claim 1, further comprising:
    sound circuitry;
    wherein the control circuitry is also for providing an aural indication to the operator of the states of the barcode scanner through the sound circuitry.
  13. 13. The scanner of claim 1, wherein the control circuitry comprises a state machine.
  14. 14. The scanner of claim 1, further comprising:
    a first portion including a generally horizontal aperture through which first scanning light beams pass; and
    a second portion including a generally vertical aperture through which second scanning light beams pass;
    wherein the visual indicator is mounted above the generally vertical aperture.
  15. 15. A barcode scanner comprising:
    a first portion including a generally horizontal aperture through which first scanning light beams pass;
    a second portion including a generally vertical aperture through which second scanning light beams pass;
    a visual indicator above the generally vertical aperture including positions capable of being individually illuminated as multiple colors;
    a scale; and
    control circuitry including a state machine for monitoring states of the barcode scanner and the scale and for illuminating the positions of the visual indicator to produce codes indicative of the static and dynamic states of the barcode scanner and the scale.
  16. 16. The scanner of claim 15, further comprising:
    an electronic article surveillance system;
    wherein the control circuitry is additionally for monitoring states of the electronic article surveillance system and for illuminating the positions of the visual indicator to produce other codes indicative of the states of the electronic article surveillance system.
  17. 17. The scanner of claim 15, further comprising:
    a radio frequency identification reader;
    wherein the control circuitry is additionally for monitoring states of the radio frequency identification reader and for illuminating the positions of the visual indicator to produce other codes indicative of the states of the radio frequency identification system.
  18. 18. The scanner of claim 15, further comprising:
    an image scanner;
    wherein the control circuitry is additionally for monitoring states of the image scanner and for illuminating the positions of the visual indicator to produce other codes indicative of the states of the image scanner.
  19. 19. The scanner of claim 15, wherein the visual indicator comprises:
    a row of lights;
    wherein a first light position identifies an error type and remaining light positions identify a specific error of the error type.
  20. 20. The scanner of claim 19, wherein the first light position is capable of displaying a plurality of different colors, and wherein the error type is associated with one of the different colors.
US11748000 2007-05-14 2007-05-14 Barcode scanner operator interface Abandoned US20080283603A1 (en)

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US20090250519A1 (en) * 2008-04-04 2009-10-08 Toshiba Tec Kabushiki Kaisha Code symbol reading apparatus
US20120321146A1 (en) * 2011-06-06 2012-12-20 Malay Kundu Notification system and methods for use in retail environments
US20170322656A1 (en) * 2016-05-09 2017-11-09 Ag Leader Technology, Inc. Field Computer With Integrated Hidden Lightbar For Vehicle Guidance

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US7051943B2 (en) * 2002-04-11 2006-05-30 Sensormatic Electronics Corporation Portable handheld electronic article surveillance and scanner device
US7207488B2 (en) * 2004-11-04 2007-04-24 Precision Dynamics Corproation Combined barcode scanner and radio frequency identification reader with field interpretation array

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US4934612A (en) * 1988-03-28 1990-06-19 Deere & Company Automatic forage harvester shearbar adjusting
US6318636B1 (en) * 1999-09-21 2001-11-20 Intermec Ip Corp. Method and apparatus to read different types of data carriers, such RFID tags and machine-readable symbols, and a user interface for the same
US20060038009A1 (en) * 2002-01-11 2006-02-23 Metrologic Instruments, Inc. Point of sale (POS) based bar code reading and cash register systems with integrated internet-enabled customer-kiosk terminals
US7051943B2 (en) * 2002-04-11 2006-05-30 Sensormatic Electronics Corporation Portable handheld electronic article surveillance and scanner device
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US20090250519A1 (en) * 2008-04-04 2009-10-08 Toshiba Tec Kabushiki Kaisha Code symbol reading apparatus
US8061612B2 (en) * 2008-04-04 2011-11-22 Toshiba Tec Kabushiki Kaisha Code symbol reading apparatus
US8226005B2 (en) 2008-04-04 2012-07-24 Toshiba Tec Kabushiki Kaisha Code symbol reading apparatus
US20120321146A1 (en) * 2011-06-06 2012-12-20 Malay Kundu Notification system and methods for use in retail environments
US20170322656A1 (en) * 2016-05-09 2017-11-09 Ag Leader Technology, Inc. Field Computer With Integrated Hidden Lightbar For Vehicle Guidance

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Owner name: NCR CORPORATION, OHIO

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BARRON, PETER;HESKE III, THEODORE;JONES, MARY RYAN;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:019286/0927

Effective date: 20070510